Remember the sci-fi pseudo-healthcare film Elysium? If you don’t, here’s a bit of info to jog your memory. The gritty film starred Matt Damon as a former car thief turned factory worker who needs the cure for cancer, but will not receive it because he’s in an entirely different class of people. He lives on a decried earth while the rich are living above, safe from the destruction.
The futuristic film received okay reviews for its over achieving visual effects, but as far as the story goes, critics were decidedly against the film. One critic called it “a preachy apologetic for Obamacare.”
So what did the Elysium director Neill Blomkamp think of it? Well, he didn’t like it much either. In an interview with Uproxx, Blomkamp admits that the screenplay isn’t as strong as it needed to be, and that the film had many issues.
His frustration with Elysium came out when he was asked if he ever felt frustration about negotiating with Hollywood.
“Any frustration I feel with Elysium is with myself.”
Soon the conversation turned into where he went wrong with Elysium.
“I feel like, ultimately, the story is not the right story. I just think the script wasn’t — I just didn’t make a good enough film is ultimately what it is. I feel like I executed all of the stuff that could be executed, like costume and set design and special effects very well. But, ultimately, it was all resting on a somewhat not totally formed skeletal system, so the script just wasn’t there; the story wasn’t fully there.”
While he did like the satirical idea of humans inhabiting a ring which hung above a much poorer society on Earth, Blompakamp told Uproxx that he got caught up in this concept. It seems like he didn’t really flesh the story out, and got caught up in his idea.
“The satirical idea of a diamond encrusted ring above, like, slums is such a satirically cool idea – I’m not like a normal person in the sense that I have to have a story for something to be interesting. Concepts are just as interesting to me as stories are. Where, to normal people, stories are more interesting.”
That said, the Elysium director isn’t completely out of original concepts. Recently the news was announced that he would be making a sequel to Alien. He announced the news on his Instagram, with a drawing he had sketched out as a concept.
As of right now, the director is promoting his upcoming robotic film Chappie, about a robot with human emotions.
Although the director is very aware of his flaws as a storyteller, the jury is still out on his latest creation Chappie. Some audience members seem to be forgiving about his error with Elysium and are excited for Chappie.
excited for Chappie, looks fantastic #ChappieMovie#chappie
— Naomi Kotler (@naomikotler) February 27, 2015
The concept of CHAPPIE isn’t new but gosh I can’t wait to see it! #excited
— Stephanie Sauvinet (@StephanieSauvin) February 26, 2015
[Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment]